Sunday, February 11, 2007

Home At Last

Home At Last!

Intro.: I have not bought a great many houses over the years.

  1. But I know that there is one step that must occur before I sign any final paperwork.

  2. That is the final walk through – checking to see that all lights work, no unexpected broken windows or holes in the wall, do all utilities work properly.

  3. Take a minute to look one more time at what God is preparing for us:

Read: Revelations 21:1-5


T.S. I want to look this morning at four characteristics of heaven.

  1. The first thing you will notice is its size.

    1. Jeremiah 31:37 makes it clear that there is no way to measure the size of heaven.

(Ill.) I remember one summer while we lived in Iowa. We made a trip to the Twin Cities and made our first stop at the Mall of America. It was an amazing experience to walk into this huge building and see four to five stories of stores. The lights, the colors, the people – all contributed to the atmosphere. You may or may not know that in the center of this mall is a major amusement park – Camp Snoopy. They had the expected range of rides – I especially liked the Log Plume ride. But you know what, regardless of how big that place was, someone has a set of blueprints which describe every inch of that space. Someone has measured it. They have used tape measures, yard sticks, and a slew of other tools to make sure that the Mall of America was built according to specifications.

    1. But heaven cannot be measured – yes it must hold us as believers, but it must also hold God. And God is infinite. Both His power and his knowledge are infinite. An infinite God can reside in an immeasurable heaven.

(Appl.) How do you respond to an infinite God? Words that come to mind include "awe", "speechless", or maybe, "fear". Whatever word you want to use, I hope that you realize that we do serve an infinite God. A God who has no limits, but who allows us to know Him.

  1. But then you notice that this is no ordinary home – this place is set aside for the King and His family.

    1. We spend much of our time thinking about heaven as our future home.

    2. Yet in doing so, we make a big mistake. You see, even as we wait for the day, heaven is already God's home.

    3. In Acts 7 Stephen is on trial for his faith. He eventually will be stoned for his faith in Christ, to be the first of many Christian martyrs. But in the meantime he is allowed to testify about that faith – and in his final speech he reminds his hearers and he reminds us that Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool for my feet.

      When heaven becomes our home, we will be entering what is already God's home.

    4. Because it is God's home, we might expect that, just as our homes express our character, so does heaven express God's character.

    5. Deuteronomy 26 is a reflection of Moses' instructions to the Israelites prior to their entering the promised land. Moses would not go with them, but he wanted to prepare them for their future home. Moses also prays and when he does, he says "Look down from your holy dwelling place in heaven ..."

    6. Heaven is God's place – and as such we should not be surprised to find that it is called "holy.'

(Ill.) Columbus christened the first island he landed on “San Salvador,” meaning “Holy Saviour,” and kneeling, prayed:

O Lord, Almighty and everlasting God, by Thy holy Word Thou hast created the heaven, and the earth, and the sea; blessed and glorified be Thy Name, and praised be Thy Majesty, which hath deigned to use us, Thy humble servants, that Thy holy Name may be proclaimed in this second part of the earth.1

    1. Even as Columbus recognized God's holy influence in heaven, so must we.

  1. God is the Lord of heaven

    1. God is in heaven – scripture also tells us He is Lord of heaven.

    2. Scripture says that heaven is God's throne, it tells us God reigns in heaven.

    3. God is in control – both here and in heaven.

    4. We may think that we are in control – and there are times that God allows us to make choices, but when we do, we also are responsible for the consequences.

(Appl.) I need to learn to pray, we need to learn, to ask that the Lord of heaven also might be Lord of my life.

  1. Heaven will be our home as well

    1. Heaven is not only God home, it will also be our home.

    2. That is not quite right. As believers, it is already our home, we just are not there yet.

    3. There are times when life seems out of whack. There are times when it seems that I don't fit in. There are times when it would be nice if life went a bit smoother – and then it doesn't.

    4. But you know what – I am not surprised. My citizenship is in heaven. My hope is not in this world, but in God's world.

    5. And for that I must wait till God is ready to take me home. But when he is, I am ready to go.

    6. I trust that you are as well.

    7. And when you are, you too will see what John saw

READ: Revelations 21:1-5


1Federer, W. J. (2001). Great Quotations : A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced according to their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions. St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch.

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